By September 14, 2017 Read More →

Why Sleep is Essential for Single Parent Travel

Traveling together can be a fun bonding experience for you and your children. Unfortunately, this can also be pretty difficult, especially if your kids are a handful. Lack of sleep – either yours or your children – can add a different set of hurdles to an already challenging experience. That is why we previously advised here on Single Parent Travel to get enough rest the night before your scheduled travel to reduce possible problems while you are in transit.

However, this is only a temporary solution, because the amount of sleep you get certainly won’t be nearly enough sleep to last you throughout your vacation. You and your children will still need to make sure that you get sufficient rest even while on holiday, otherwise you may not end up enjoying your break at all.

One of the best strategies that you can employ to help make your kids rest easier is to follow the same routine that they go through while at home. For example, if you and your child have a bath before you go to bed then make sure to stick to this habit because the familiar motions can help them fall asleep faster. Try to stick to the same schedule as well. If your child is used to sleeping at 8 o’clock in the evening, get him or her to bed by then because their body is already used to resting at that time of night. Adjust to their sleep schedule so they can get to sleep better. That way, they will be fully energized and ready for your planned outings.

Things become a bit tricky, however, if you are flying to a destination that has a different time zone. Huffington Post recommends adjusting to your destination’s time zone only if you are spending five or more days there (in fact, it suggests slowly transitioning your child’s routines to the different time zone even before you leave to familiarize them with the changes in schedule). If your holiday is shorter than that, it would be a better idea to stick to your own time zone, otherwise, the effort may not be worth it in the long run since you will need to re-train your children once you get back home.

That being said, it’s also important that you cut yourself some slack if you aren’t able to follow your child’s sleep schedule. New Parents emphasized that children are remarkably resilient, so don’t beat yourself up if they weren’t able to strictly follow the sleep schedule you carefully planned out. It may not seem like it, but they will eventually adjust to their new surroundings after some time.

Another strategy to help ensure that your kids can get some sleep is to make their surroundings as familiar as possible. Modern Mom suggests bringing portable items that they are familiar with and installing them around the room where your children will be sleeping. Make sure to include their favorite toy, or their security blanket on your list of things to bring as well, alongside the other items you will need, which we outlined for you in our ‘Travel Checklist’. If you’re planning on bringing a travel bed with you for your child, make sure your child sleeps in there even while at home to make them familiar with the sensation of lying in it. Doing these things will help reduce your kids’ anxiety about staying in a strange place, which can in turn help them fall asleep faster.

Even as you look after your children, it is equally important that you need to look after yourself as well. Single parents have a tendency to look after their children’s well-being at the expense of their own. While this is understandable, this is also not necessarily healthy. Leesa states that parents should also allot time to take care of themselves so that they can be at their best when looking after their kids, and this is certainly true. After all, how will you be able to run after your children and see to their needs if you are also groggy from a lack of sleep?

Healthy Relationships Initiative reminds parents and caregivers the importance of self-care. The article says that running yourself into the ground to take care of your children is actually a disservice to them. Not only will you not be able to care after your kids if you do so, it can also affect your health and your mood as well. Remember: you and your kids are on vacation, so give yourself a break so you can enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Image credit: PIxabay

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